Yesterday a theatre-loving friend of mine tweeted about a new musical coming to Playwrights Horizons next spring that tells the story of a girl group called The Shaggs, a band of 3 sisters from New Hampshire who had their “heyday” in the late 1960’s. A band that only released one album some people regard as a colossal failure, while others – most notably rock icon, Frank Zappa – proclaim as utter brilliance. When discussing his take on it Gunnar Madsen – who will be writing the music & lyrics for the musical is quoted in the New York Times as saying the following:
“I found it profoundly depressing. Other people find a simple joy in it, but for me I just heard how they were forced to do this. I can hear where they’re just struggling to find something out of the chaos which is music.”
The article follows up by discussing how Madsen planned to approach the original music – one of the biggest challenges (I think) in translating the life of any artist to the stage in the form of a musical – to which he answered that he intends to “try to answer the question, ‘What did they hope they would sound like?’”
This week the interwebs were abuzz with the premieres of two different and much beloved stories that have been adapted to the stage.
The first one – an opera version of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory titled The Golden Ticket – opened last Sunday June 13 at the Loretto-Hilton Center of Webster University in St. Louis. Not sure yet if I really feel ANOTHER adaptation of the story is truly necessary – this one actually got panned in its first incarnation as a concert performance at the National Theatre.
The New York Times announced today that a musical adaptation of the film Elf will be heading to the Great White Way for a limited run this Christmas. Done right, I’m pretty confident this has the potential to be brilliant in the same way the film was. But there is also good chance the musical might try just a little too hard. I mean, did the filmmakers know that their movie was going to spawn catchphrases beloved year round?
Team, I’m gonna be honest – I’m tentatively excited about this, but kind of surprised. I would have pegged Lily to be a better fit for Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging aka Bridget Jones Jr., but here we are.
Apparently after telling the world that she was retiring last year – something about a clothing and a record company – Contact Music reports that the singer has now signed up to write 12 songs for the musical – one of which is already done (about what else? Bridget moaning over feeling fat).